Persimmon Baklava

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This unique persimmon baklava is soaked in a persimmon based syrup. You get sweet bits of persimmon with each bite of flaky pastry and crushed pistachios. This dessert has just the right amount of sweetness and is delicious with some vanilla ice cream.

Plate of persimmon baklava

Baklava is one of my favorite desserts. I decided to make my own that is not overly sweet or drowning in syrup. To make this recipe unique and extra delicious, I use a persimmon syrup.

When you pour the syrup over the baklava fresh from the oven it will sizzle. The amount of syrup used in this recipe doesn’t leave the baklava soaking, but does get it moist. I prefer this as I am not a huge fan of desserts that are too sweet. Even after the syrup is added, the pastry layers stay crispy and buttery.

This dessert is also great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a baklava sundae.

Baklava Ingredients

The basic baklava ingredients are phyllo pastry, walnuts, pistachios, honey, butter, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon. I have also seen recipes adding rose water to the syrup, and cardamom to the nut mixture.

From what I read, Turkish baklava is usually prepared with a pistachio nut mixture and a simple syrup, and Greek baklava is made with a walnut mixture and honey. However, there seems to be more variations and this is most likely an over-simplification.

This recipe uses a pistachio nut mixture, which is what I prefer. However, a pistachio and walnut mixture also works. You can use a food processor to coarsely grind the nuts. I pulse the pistachios in my small blender. While a bit more time-consuming, you could also carefully chop them with a knife.

Tips When Using Phyllo Dough

Phyllo dough is a paper-thin pastry. You can probably find this in the freezer section of your local grocery store. It is tricky to use because it dries out quickly. But with the right tips and clear instructions, you should be fine.

The dough should be thawed according to package instructions. Usually they recommend thawing the dough overnight in the fridge or for at least 8 hours. I then let it thaw for another hour on the kitchen countertop before use.

Covering the phyllo dough with damp paper towels also helps prevent the dough from drying out as you assemble the baklava.

You’ll notice that my baklava is not prepared in a large 13×9 baking sheet. Instead, I use a smaller 5×9 bread or loaf pan. Since phyllo dough is sold in large sheets, I butter five sheets together at a time and then cut time into smaller 5×9 stacks using my sharp kitchen scissors. This saves me time and prepares a perfect serving size for me and a couple friends.

Persimmon Jam

The two main types of persimmon are hachiya (acorn-shaped) and fuyu (flatter, tomato-shaped). They have flavor notes of honey and cinnamon, and are rich in vitamins and fiber. Since hachiya persimmons are more astringent (create that dry mouthfeel), I use fuyu persimmons in this recipe.

It would be ideal to use ripe persimmons to make the jam. When they are fully ripe you can easily peel the skin with your fingers and the persimmon flesh is jelly-like. The persimmon jam would otherwise have a chunkier consistency, which is also fine.

You use some of this jam to make a thinner syrup for the baklava. I like to eat any leftover persimmon jam with some toasted milk bread or biscuits.

This is a fall and winter dessert as persimmons are usually in season September through December. If you are looking for more fall dessert recipes, check out my popular Asian Pear Hotteok recipe.

If you want to make a similar dessert in the summer, I would recommend replacing the persimmons with apricots. They have a similar flavor profile and consistency when ripe.

Side view of a plate of persimmon baklava

Mini Persimmon Baklava

Most recipes ask you to prepare baklava in a large 13×9 baking pan. I decided to write a recipe for a 5×9 bread pan-sized baklava for two reasons:

1) Brushing each layer of phyllo dough with butter takes up quite a bit of time. It definitely helps to use a pastry brush.

2) It’s the perfect amount for me to eat on my own over the coarse of a week (when stored in the fridge), or to share in one sitting with a couple of friends.

Triple the ingredient quantities if you would like to do a full-sized 13×9 baklava. It is a great dessert to bring to potlucks or large gatherings.

Other dessert recipes:

Mise En Place

Persimmon Jam
Persimmon Syrup

If you make this Persimmon Baklava, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!

Persimmon Baklava

This unique persimmon baklava is soaked in a persimmon based syrup. You get sweet bits of persimmon with each bite of flaky pastry and crushed pistachios. This dessert has just the right amount of sweetness and is delicious with some vanilla ice cream.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Pastry, Persimmon, Phyllo, Pistachios
Servings: 4


  • pastry brush
  • food processor or small blender


  • ½ pack phyllo dough, thawed (8 oz, ½ lb)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter

Nut mixture

  • ¾ cup pistachios
  • tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar

Persimmon Jam

  • 220 g ripe persimmon (peeled, cored and diced) (about 3)
  • 4 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Persimmon Syrup

  • 6 tbsp persimmon jam
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • tbsp cane sugar
  • tbsp water


Persimmon Jam

  • Add the persimmon jam ingredients to a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Let it simmer for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove it from the heat and carefully mash any large persimmon chunks.
  • Place it back on the heat and let it simmer for another 30 seconds. Set it aside to cool.

Baklava Assembly

  • Thaw the phyllo dough according to package instructions (e.g. Let it sit overnight in the fridge or for at least 8 hours, and then let it thaw for another hour at room temperature). Cover unused phyllo dough with damp paper towels to prevent it from drying out.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Cover the bread pan with foil. Brush the the bottom and sides with melted butter.
  • Pulse the pistachios in a food processor or small blender until it is coarsely ground. Transfer the ground pistachio into a small bowl and whisk in the coconut sugar and cinnamon. This is your nut mixture.
  • Lay out some parchment paper on a tabletop. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on the parchment paper, and brush the top with melted butter using a pastry brush. Layer another phyllo sheet on top and repeat these steps until you get 5 layered sheets. Flip it over and brush the bottom side with butter as well.
  • Using kitchen scissors, cut the stack of phyllo sheets into 5"x9" stacks.
  • Layer two of the 5"x9" stacks together to get 10 buttered phyllo sheets. Add this to the bottom of the bread pan.
  • Spoon a thin and even layer of the nut mixture over the phyllo dough in the bread pan.
  • Add 5 buttered phyllo sheets to the bread pan, and then add another layer of the nut mixture. Repeat this 3 more times.
  • Add 10 buttered phyllo sheets to finish. (You may have to repeat steps 5-6 for more stacks of 5 buttered phyllo sheets)
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 1" wide strips, and then cut them diagonally. Make sure to cut all the way down to the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the top is crispy and golden brown.

Persimmon Syrup

  • While the baklava is baking, prepare the persimmon syrup. In a small saucepan, add the syrup ingredients and mix them together.
  • After bringing it to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for a couple minutes without stirring. Let it cool down completely before adding it to the hot baklava in the next step.
  • Once the baklava is done baking, remove it from the oven and immediately add an even layer of syrup over the hot baklava (it will sizzle).
  • Let it sit for at least 4 hours to allow the baklava to cool and absorb the syrup.


Store in the fridge for up to a week.
It is important to brush each layer of phyllo dough with butter for that crispy, flaky texture.
Order of baklava layers:
  • 10 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture
  • 5 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture
  • 5 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture
  • 5 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture
  • 5 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture
  • 10 buttered phyllo sheets, nut mixture

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